Money has always been one of the central points of interest of the Austrian economic school. There are, of course, many reasons for this. The control and the manipulation of the currency could equip any government with a means necessary to carry out the most ambitious political and military projects. It is why the states so many times in the past resorted to a purposeful devaluation of the currencies to secretly tax its people without having to go through the proper mechanisms. There is also the other side of the coin, which is the fact that money is in everyday use for almost all people. That is why it has been also a matter of popular concern.
Since the times of the foundation of the Austrian economic school, the way we see money and the forms in which we use it have changed dramatically. While in the early 20th century many countries adhered to the gold standard or some other forms of backed currencies, the growth of the Keynesian and other economic schools led to the growth of the deficit spending and gradual decoupling of the currency from any sort of commodity backing by central banks. This has become the norm to such an extent that the mainstream public views this situation as standard and any other form of currencies are viewed as archaic or unrealistic projects that would not survive in the current system.
However, the big currencies of the Western world were all faced with their own struggles over the past years. The Euro and the US Dollar both had to deal with instability that was caused by the policies of quantitative easing combined with the debt problems that many countries have to face. Neither Swiss Franc avoided the problems nor the Chinese Yuan (last year’s instability following the stock crash and competitive devaluations).
At the same time the currency market is seeing the rise of new crypto-currencies and other technological solutions that could seriously undermine the domination of the state-based currency systems. While Bitcoin has seen a steep rise followed by a rather sharp decline, other models, some of them based on the gold-backed projects and other addressing the issue from different angles, could prepare ground for a rather strong discussion about what shape will the currencies adopt in the near or farther future.
These issues deserve a time and a forum where they could be discussed. Thanks to the help from Friedrich Naumann Stiftung and other partners F. A. Hayek Foundation is pleased to present you the third Future of Money 3.0 Conference that is taking place on November 26 in Bratislava. It includes the former Czech President and Prime Minister Václav Klaus and other great speakers from speakers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia who will contribute valuable insights into the currency debate and the ways we could see it. Hope to see you there.